(Series 19, ep. 41 ‘Going the Distance’ by Chris Murray 18.7.17) Essie is a mass of thwarted maternal instinct, isn’t she? She’s currently directing it all at Parker (whom she inherited from a former patient). He’s a perfectly nice lad, but Essie is constantly worrying that she’s not looking after him properly, or he’s going off the rails or whatever. A template for mother/son perfection presented itself this week in the form of patient Roma (Maria Miles) and her utterly devoted son Lewis (Jack Kane). Essie wished that she and Parker could have such a bond, but actually Roma and Lewis were teetering along that fine line where devotion can become harmful for one or both parties. Roma realised that and made some changes, and Essie realised, with the help of Raf, that she needs to relax about Parker a bit. I bet she won’t, though. Continue reading
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(Series 19, ep. 21) There was ninja-level acting in AAU this week, as Serena’s “what doesn’t kill you makes you a better F1” mentoring of Jasmine reached critical point. Catherine Russell showed yet again what a great range she has as an actor – there was no sign of cheeky, Shiraz-swilling Serena as grief for her daughter has made her more angry, upset and confused than she knows how to deal with. Some of her scenes were heartbreaking – especially the little moment when she looked at her sleeping patient and you knew she was picturing Elinor, her meltdown in front of all the staff and her speech to the counsellor at the end.
Lucinda Dryzek has also been excellent in this storyline. Jasmine’s whole body language has changed – she’s tired, worn down, stressed out. But you never lose the feeling of who she essentially is – the perky, lively, optimistic person who seems to be the opposite of her sister. Continue reading
(Series 18, ep. 50) Dr Isaac Mayfield has certainly changed his taste in men. His current beau is the wonderful Dr Dominic Copeland, but in this episode we met his ex. Miles Richardson, King of the Revolutionary Spleen Procedure (Jonathan Firth), was one of those creepy/scary/weird people that, if they sidled up to you at a party, you would make every excuse to get away from. I think he was supposed to have charisma, but he was nasty and manipulative and I didn’t like him at all. He wasn’t very nice to our Dominic, which made Dom go all possessive and defensive with Isaac. Given his history with Lee and the fact that he’s only just starting to trust Isaac, I think this was an understandable response. Continue reading
(Series 9, Ep.10) I’ve absolutely loved this term at Waterloo Road. There were so many barking mad highlights – the magic mushrooms, the Mandarin teacher who spoke Mandarin less well than Kevin Chalk, Grantly Budgen being poetried to death, Kacey’s boxing ambitions, Verruca’s unfortunate selfies, Barry keeping Sue Spark’s pupils in check… it’s been eventful. I even forgot to miss Tom Clarkson most of the time.
Christine Mulgrew has been an excellent head, partly because she’s a rubbish head (if she was really good at it, half the mad incidents would never occur), but mainly because I look at her and I actually believe in her as a head teacher in a way I haven’t believed in a Waterloo Road head teacher since the sainted Jack Rimmer. George Windsor and Nikki Boston have been an excellent support, and I’ve enjoyed the story arc that’s seen Simon go from being a creepy, careerist little worm to being a more humble team player.
And above all else I’ve loved the Barrys: matriarch Carol marching up the slope at the front of the school to shout at people; Dynasty with her kind heart and performing eyelashes; Kacey and her beautifully expressive, vulnerable face; and Barry, the petty criminal whose arrogant swagger is mainly front.
This end-of-term episode saw Kacey about to set forth to America to spend a term at boxing camp, all paid for by the school’s fundraising efforts. But all the money mysteriously vanished and Kacey’s dreams were in tatters. Barry was there with a comforting shoulder to cry on. “You can’t trust this lot here, Kace, they’re full of it,” said Barry, but he’s never going to be a criminal mastermind because he let slip that he knew the money had gone – before Kacey had told him. Continue reading